ONT June 2018: An history refresher on PAP MDS
Published on ONT, June 2018.
During the 70's, the development of ROVs accelerated, and by the end of 1982 over 500 vehicles were developed. 85 percent of the vehicles of this period were developed using government funding.
But for the 350 new vehicles developed and constructed after that period, 95 percent were funded by private industry. And, those numbers do not include the over 200 PAP-104s, manufactured by ECA for mine countermeasures. The cost-effective PAP-104 was battery operated and hugged the bottom by dragging a weight suspended below as it searched for the target. After delivering the explosive charge, the vehicle was recovered, and the detonation was activated from the surface.
The Poisson Auto-Propulse (self-propelled fish) or PAP was developed by ECA in the 1970s and was dedicated to underwater mine detection. It operates silently not not trigger the mine. Despire being delivered almost 50 years ago, the first PAP is still in service for the French Navy.